To the Editor: Conscience can't justify BG levy support
Written by Mary Vollmar   
Thursday, 02 May 2013 10:28
Does calling landlords "greedy," and citizens against the levy "self-serving" align with a community that is supposed to "welcome all"?
The school board, superintendent, and administrators are accountable to the citizens and I applaud Mr. Maurer for exercising the citizen's right (and good business practice) to examine the public records for an informed decision.  During my marketing career, if I were to request a larger budget from my manager, I would be expected to present a business plan explaining where the extra money would be used in order to achieve a desired measurable result.  The general information we have been given is: state funds have decreased, student enrollment has decreased, and federal funds have increased.
They have told us what steps have been taken to save money, but not all figures have been given so that the savings may be compared to the decreased state funds.
We are told that baseline salaries have been frozen.   However, I saw the administrators' contracts which state that a merit pay may be awarded every year and added to the baseline for the following year.  Also, administrators do not contribute toward their retirement.  Taxpayers foot the entire bill.  
It is odd that many are ready to demonize Mr. Maurer and other landlords when these self-employed businessmen have to finance 100% of their own retirement, in contrast to these school administrators.
I think of the families who live in a $150,000 home; they don't look at the increase as "only $309".  For many, that would be a trip to the dentist, new shoes, or a myriad of things that are being put off.  
I think of farmers who own several acres of land; this would devastate their budgets … or teachers who put in unpaid overtime hours at home and have already suffered cuts … or elderly on fixed incomes.  To the generous senior on a fixed income who wrote to the editor that she was willing to forego giving Christmas gifts in support of the levy I say, "Give the schools a donation at Christmas toward the pensions of the administrators and let other needy seniors have the freedom to choose if they would rather spend their grocery money toward these extravagant benefits."   In good conscience, I can't justify taking money from the above citizens for a cause that I am not sure is actually benefiting children. That is why I am voting "NO."
Mary Vollmar
Bowling Green

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